The 2014 Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra season continues to pick up the pace as guest conductor Roberto Minczuk and piano soloist Jon Nakamatsu grace the Amphitheater stage at 8:15 p.m. Saturday.
Ask an artist in any medium — including musicians — and they’ll tell you their craft is one of expression and emotion; of telling a story through each note or brushstroke.
Sitting in the second row of the near-capacity house was a young woman wearing a blue T-shirt with the sign of the horns (the gesture the cartoon characters Beavis and Butt-head were known for) and the legend “You Rachmaninoff.”
Conducting has always been Elizabeth Schulze’s destiny.
She comes from a family of classical musicians. When she was very young, her mother gave her The Modern Conductor, a book on conducting by Elizabeth Green. She graduated Interlochen Arts Academy with honors and studied under conductor Thor Johnson, with whom she would chat during lunch about score analysis.
“These pieces are the blockbuster pieces for the Romantic period,” said David Effron Conducting Fellow Roderick Cox about the Music School Festival Orchestra’s finale at 8:15 p.m. tonight in the Amphitheater.
The program highlights Wagner’s “Overture and Venusburg Music,” from the opera Tannhäuser, and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2, Op. 27 in E Minor.
Cox will lead off the concert’s direction with a composer and piece he deeply admires.
“Wagner has a great deal of passion, beauty and intelligence,” he said. “It’s just all around a wonderful masterpiece that I am very honored to get to do with these musicians.”
Saturday evening proved quite sensational in the Amphitheater, where guest conductor Christopher Seaman and pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk offered outstanding work in the second of two concerts centered around the piano concerti of Sergei Rachmaninoff. Weather and Delta Airlines conspired to make me miss the first of these on Thursday; but Saturday’s program, sumptuously played by the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, was genuinely memorable. Fortunately, the concert was broadcast live via NPR affiliates in Buffalo and Pittsburgh.